Fortress Blog

🡐 Back to Blog

Friday, November 12, 2021

Pergolas vs. Patio Covers: Choosing a Shelter for Your Outdoor Space

For those who can’t get enough of the outdoors, lounging and dining in their open-air living space can be some of the most wholesome joys of a backyard. This is where outdoor fixtures come into play—they add personality while improving the usability of your space.

With attention paid to backyard structures, pergolas and patio covers are two mainstays in the world of outdoor home improvement. While these two products may sound essentially the same, understanding the key differences will help you choose the right fixture for your outdoor space.

What is the difference between patio covers and pergolas?

Patio covers are typically an extension of your home’s roof—complete with roofing shingles. In application, they make for a popular shade solution because of their ability to cover the unprotected space that opens onto your backyard. That said, because patio covers are attached to your home, they may be limiting in terms of design versatility.

Pergolas bring functionality, definition and a stylish aesthetic to an otherwise lackluster backyard. They are generally defined by vertical pillars and overhead rafters that still allow plenty of natural light to flow through your outdoor living area. While they can be attached to your home like a patio cover, pergolas can also be freestanding structures, which means they can be assembled in nearly any backyard landscape.

What are the benefits of an outdoor pergola?

While patio covers offer sensible shade to a fixed area of backyard space, outdoor pergolas provide all those same benefits while bringing added design versatility and durability to the table.

Increased design versatility – With limitless design possibilities, these structures can deliver on an aesthetic level that patio covers cannot. For example, when steel pergolas are left in their bare form, backyard enthusiasts can bring in clean lines that play to today’s in-demand ultramodern, industrial look. The structure can be attached to the back of your home, but it can also be easily integrated into virtually any backyard layout to create a defined space for relaxation.

Durability – While there are many materials to consider when selecting a pergola, there are now new options like steel. With unmatched durability and low maintenance qualities, steel pergolas sidestep issues associated with moisture absorption and protect against fire, corrosion, twisting, insects and rot. Modern offerings like steel pergolas serve as a long-lasting solution, allowing you to spend more time enjoying your outdoor living space and less time worrying about upkeep.

When it comes to choosing between a pergola and a patio cover, the choice is ultimately yours. But with steel pergolas from Fortress Building Products, you can bring lasting style and usability to your backyard equation. Ready to elevate your outdoor space? Check out our Instagram account at @fortressbldgproducts for some design inspiration.

Modern pergola setup in backyardPergola setting with deck furniture and string lights


Fortress Building Products uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you accept our use of cookies.